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WRIGHT: Players need to take some responsibility
TOMMY WRIGHT has called on Swindon Town’s players to take responsibility for their performances as the Scotsman takes the reigns at Town for the first time against Portsmouth tonight following John Sheridan’s weekend departure from the club. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker spoke to Wright ahead of this evenings League One fixture.
With John Sheridan resigning from his role as First-Team Manager on Saturday in the aftermath of Swindon’s 4-1 away defeat against Wimbledon, Tommy Wright now finds himself in the hot seat, stepping up from his Assistant Coach role until the end of the season.
Taking charge for the first of a four-match tenure tonight, Wright issued a rallying call to Swindon’s players demanding that they take more responsibility as the club looks to avoid relegation.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s match, Wright said:
“I’ll take charge of things and Lee Peacock has come up to help a bit because apart from Steve Mildenhall, we don’t have any other coaches,” said Wright.
“For the last four games, it is about pride. Pride for the club and pride for the players themselves.
“The players have to look at themselves. We’re all guilty, we’ve all had a hand in this season but when you’re a manager you’re the one that gets the blame.
“I’ve told them they are playing for their futures and that they have to go out to do the best they can,” he added.
“The players have to take responsibility for their own performances.
“They are professional footballers and have to have a bit of pride tomorrow. They need to run harder than Portsmouth, pass the ball better than them, compete better and we can win the game.
“At the moment everyone thinks we are going to lose. The players have to stand up and show a bit of courage,” said Wright.
Seven points off safety in the League One standings, Swindon will need to pick up three points tonight if they are to stand any chance of escaping relegation this season.
Discussing team selection ahead of tonight’s encounter, Wright insisted squad changes will be made as he looks to add more pace into the team.
“Everybody has their own thoughts about certain players and how they want a team to play,” stated Wright.
“At this moment in time, I want to get the fittest and the quickest players on the pitch.
"I think we have lagged legs through the season, and I want to get pace and energy into the team starting tomorrow with the players we have available.
“It is possible to stay up but we are going to have to do a lot better than we did against Wimbledon, especially defensively,” he added.
“We have to defend better as a team.
“We still create chances going forward but we let too many goals in.
“We’ve had six centre-backs injured, seven goalkeepers, and we have never had a defensive partnership.
“There are reasons but I don’t want to make excuses, we haven’t been good enough,” he said.
Off the pitch, Swindon Town finds itself amidst a wave of legal issues as FA Charges, ongoing court cases over the club's ownership, and owner Lee Power’s refusal to communicate, all combining to encompass the club in uncertainty.
Asked about the club's problems, Wright said he is unsure about what is going on before adding that he is trying his best to focus on the job at hand.
“There is [uncertainty around the club],” said Wright.
“I don’t know what’s going on upstairs at the minute so there is uncertainty.
“The clubs getting sold, the clubs not getting sold, you don’t really know what’s going on.
“All we can do is run things professionally on the footballing side of things and we do that,” he added.
“Other things going on at the moment aren’t in my domain so I just look after the footballing side of things.
“It’s not great what’s going on but once you are out on the pitch you don’t really worry about what is going on above.
“I’ve been at clubs where it’s happened before but it has never distracted me when out on the pitch,” said Wright.